Who is Gena O’Kelley?

Gena O’Kelley was born on 10 August 1963, in California, USA, and is a former model and actress, but perhaps best known for being the wife of actor Chuck Norris. Her husband rose to fame during the 1980s as one of the top action stars of the decade.

The Net Worth of Gena O’Kelley

Gena O’Kelley’s net worth is estimated to be over $1 million, earned through a successful career in modeling, and several successful acting projects. She also probably benefits from the success of her husband, as Norris has a net worth estimated to be over $70 million.

Life and Career

Gena grew up in California, raised by her parents alongside three siblings. At a young age she gained entry into the entertainment industry through modeling, doing a few commercial projects. She didn’t make it big in modeling but it was enough to help her find a way into acting. She started out playing small or minor roles in theatre, before appearing on television and in films.

One of her first television projects was entitled “Yes Dear” in 2003, aired through CBS and starring Mike O’Malley, Jean Louisa Kelly and Anthony Clark.

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Three years later, she appeared in the television program “Praise the Lord” – later shortened to “Praise” – which is the flagship show of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Hosted by TBN president Matt Crouch alongside his wife, the couple share their lives as Christians. In 2009, Gena made a guest appearance in “Hannity”, a political talk show that airs on the Fox News Channel, tackling events of the day with a bit of analysis. She also appeared alongside her husband in the program “Total Gym”.

Husband Chuck Norris

Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma, USA, on 10 March 1940. He joined the US Air Force in 1958, and served in the military for the next four years, including training in the martial art Tang Soo Do which would become the foundation of his martial art called Chun Kuk Do. After his service, he opened a martial arts studio, and promoted it through organizing martial arts competitions. While he had a rough start, he started to improve leading to several tournament wins.

Chuck Norris

His last loss occurred in 1968 and it was his 10th. He returned to win the Middleweight Karate championship later in the year, and would hold the title for the next six years, retiring without relinquishing any of the titles he had won during this period. While competing, he met and befriended Bruce Lee who was filming “The Green Hornet”.

Following a win for the triple crown of karate, Chuck started his film career, and in 1972 he launched into superstardom appearing as the nemesis of Bruce Lee in the film “Way of the Dragon”, which broke numerous records in the box office of Hong Kong.

Chuck Norris’ Later Career

Following this success close friend and actor Steve McQueen suggested that Norris’ take the profession seriously. He found more success and profit with projects such as “Breaker! Breaker!”, which confirmed his reputation as an action star and martial arts expert. Some of his projects during the 1980s included “The Octagon”, “Silent Rage”, “Forced Vengeance” and “Lone Wolf McQuade”, which built his popularity internationally.

He signed deals for multiple films, leading to “Missing in Action”, “The Delta Force”, “Firewalker”, and “Code of Silence” which is considered one of his best films.

In 1993 he began starred as the lead in the television series “Walker, Texas Ranger”, a show he worked on for eight years. He continued to take lead roles, but his work decreased significantly during the early 2000s. Some of his later projects include “The Hitman” and “Forest Warrior”. His last appearance was in the film “The Expendables 2” in 2012.

Aside from his acting work, Chuck has written several books covering a wide range of topics, including Christianity, martial arts and exercise, and politics, and he’s even written western novels. He has been named a New York Times bestselling author twice.

Personal Life

O’Kelley isn’t Norris’ first wife, as he was previously married to high school sweetheart Dianne Kay Holecheck. The marriage lasted for 30 years and produced three children, one of whom from an extramarital affair, whom he did not know about until she was 26 years old. The couple divorced in 1989 following a separation, while he was filming “The Delta Force 2”.

During the mid-1990s he met and started a relationship with O’Kelley, who is 23 years younger than him. They have twins together.

She is also a divorcee and has two children from her first marriage, other details unknown.

During a scan for rheumatoid arthritis, she was given injections by doctors that led her to feel burning sensations throughout her body. The treatment significantly affected her health, and the couple filed lawsuits against drug manufacturers; the case has not yet been resolved. The health issue is one of the reasons why Norris took a step back from acting, so that he could give more time to her wife.

Author

Benjy is currently a reporter for BiographyPedia based in Adelaide, Australia. Prior to joining BiographyPedia in July 2019, he was a Bizarre TV reporter and theatre critic at TheSun. Benjy has also written for DailyMail and TMZ. Benjy studied journalism at Goldsmiths University of London, graduating in 2009. You can contact him at [email protected]

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